Maura Palacios Mejia is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Scholar in the Wayne Lab at UCLA, and her research focuses on applying environmental DNA to address issues in conservation management. She used Sage Hill to conduct DNA barcoding data, collecting insects and analyzing their DNA. About 23 students were involved in this project.

In 2018, she collected environmental data samples, made an interactive guide of the plants that are in Sage Hill.  She will potentially host a DNA collection event with the community in the future in collaboration with Levi Simons, a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Maura suggests improving Sage Hill by implementing a nursery area for teaching purposes, adding picnic tables, and regularly picking up litter.